Board spotlight: Nancy Meyer strives to serve rural America

Small Towns

Rhea Landholm contributed to this blog.

Born and raised in various Midwestern farming communities, and currently living in Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska, Nancy Meyer has called rural America home for most of her life.

Now, she is helping protect the land she’s known and loved for so long.

About 10 years ago, friends and acquaintances continued to mention the Center for Rural Affairs during conversations, and Nancy, who hadn’t heard of the organization before then, was intrigued.

Since learning about the Center’s mission, she has been a full supporter. Her daughter also completed a summer internship at the organization several years ago, working on crop insurance and small business forums for women.

Nancy became even more invested, and she recently became a member of the Center’s Board of Directors.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board of a nonprofit that truly cares for the future of rural America,” she said.

She has a long history of community service and significant experience in areas that will help guide her during her time on the Center’s board. In 2018, she was elected to the board of directors for the Lower Platte North Natural Resources District, she serves on the board of the Nebraska Land Trust, and she is active in several other nonprofit organizations.

Now retired, Nancy was an analyst in California before moving to Nebraska in 2000. Since then, she’s worked part-time as a tax preparer in both paid and volunteer capacities, and for several years she did volunteer educational resource consulting in her county as The Recycling Lady.

“I'm most interested in supporting natural resource preservation as the underpinning of healthy rural economies,” she said. “I want to promote traditional small businesses that practice water and soil conservation and provide locally sourced products using sustainable practices.”

The Center’s core values of conscience, fairness, and stewardship have stood out as the most critical to Nancy.

“I'm immediately impressed by a value statement that includes the concepts of conscience and fairness,” she said. “These are/should be implied values for any work, and yet an organization that lists them explicitly will be one that always makes an overt effort to maintain them. The Center's commitment to these themes makes the organization one I can trust and believe in.”

Nancy feels the notion of stewardship is needed in every organization, and in every individual, now more than ever.

“This value should be front and center for any work, public or private, as it not only suggests respect for all species, but ultimately survival of the planet itself,” she said. “It is going to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to pull the human race through the various challenges it currently faces, but good stewardship of the earth is the one that speaks the loudest to me for its far-reaching nature.”

The Center upholds these ideals, and Nancy continues to work passionately to drive them home.

“My long-term goal is to understand more deeply where my energies, knowledge, and skills can be best leveraged for the Center,” Nancy said. “I hope to help conserve the rural American landscape and lifestyle for the present and future.”

She joined the board of directors in March 2020, and even with the challenges of COVID-19, is enjoying the experience so far.

“So far, so good,” she said. “Every meeting has been informative and gratifying, and every personal interaction has reinforced my favorable impression of those who work at the Center.”